Patterns & Working Copies

The other day in a Facebook group somebody asked why people don’t give credit to the designer/project when they share photos of what they’ve made.  It’s only fair blah-blah-blah.

Sure, designers definitely deserve recognition but we should also celebrate somebody’s talent that went into making what they just shared.  I don’t see the need to get uptight about either one.

Most people replied they were just excited they were done.  Some were a bit more hard-line that they were innocent and *always* gave credit ’cause they were perfect and the angels sing down from heaven when they enter a room.

I was the weird one.  I usually am.

I have good intentions but somewhere along the way, I disagree with a pattern or I don’t like the way something fits or flows….and then it’s no longer the pattern it started out as being.

Sure, I could share the pattern but if somebody likes what I just shared a photo of then tries to get what I got based off of that photo, it’s not going to be the same.

Does that happen with anybody else?

I’m rather notorious for it among my friends and I fear it’s rubbing off on a few of them.  *innocent grin*

Therefore, I always end up making a working copy for any pattern I’m working on, even if it’s a simple quilt or something I’ve designed, so I can mark down the changes I make as I go along.  …especially if it’s something I’ve designed.  Then I usually just have a sketch of the item and a blank notepad for lots and lots of notes so I can write it up later.  Things I brew up end up being even less like what I had originally intended; projects take on a life of their own here.

I’m horrible at following directions and am always making alterations to things I make.  Usually the changes are intentional or I don’t like the designers methods (either I’m stubborn or dense, maybe both), sometimes they’re happy accidents…but I can’t think of a single thing I’ve ever made exactly like it was written.


An example of my working notes from a knitting project.  >_>;


I’m really hoping the cross stitch pattern I’ve been preparing and belly-aching over will be the exception.  I really am starting it with the best of intentions to keep it true to the pattern, totally and completely.  There are 282,500 stitches so I’m going to be a coloring queen to keep from getting lost.

I love this pattern.  I don’t want to mess it up.

Plus, there are 90 colors of floss.  I’m not artistic enough to go off on a wild hair on this one.  I’ll be lucky enough to keep all of these straight.


Not pictured is shiny Kreinik #4

I asked L to make me a working copy of the cross-stitch pattern yesterday so I can officially start once I finish gridding off my aida.

He gets limited personal use of the office machinery at his work and it saves me $50 in ink — it’s first time we’ve taken advantage of them having a copier.   My printer is a snot and won’t print in black unless it also has all three color cartridges full.  I think it bleeds or evaporates ink, just to be a money pit.  Never buy an Epson.  *sigh*

He forgot to get the copies until after his administrative assistant left for the day.

It never, ever occurred to me that he didn’t know how to work a copier.  It took him over half an hour to figure out how to make the 45 pages I needed — nothing special, just 45 pages so I don’t destroy my original copy.  It would have taken his admin aide two minutes, tops.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you feel slightly smug and special…like the thought of a super genius like L struggling with a copier.  😛




“Stitched Roots”

It took me forever to name my blog (and business if I ever decide to launch one).  It all really does begin with a stitch in my life.  My roots are in stitching.  Cross-stitch, crochet, knit, sewing, quilting, embroidery…

The first stitches I ever did as a child were cross-stitch.

My Mom was really into needlepoint at the time and I wanted to do something like it.  I was quickly unsatisfied with the yarn stitching boards and stamped projects little kids are usually given and I think my first real counted “project” was a bookmark?  Or maybe the MOM magnet with some ducks that still hangs on her refrigerator.

I still love love cross-stitch, though I haven’t done many projects lately.

The last one I finished was a sunflower coaster for one Mom’s husband’s kids.

…and I’m still slogging through cross-stitching on a Tunisian crochet afghan.  It’s taking forever but only because I’m picky about how the back looks.


I was bad and bought one yesterday though.  Logan saw it and had a little bit of a fan boy moment with it — he’s really in to steampunk right now.

I’m going to hate myself for the 58 shades of browns this thing has but I do love how it looks!

Guess I’ll start this one when I start to go cross-eyed from my 22-ct HAED I’m gearing up to start.  No worries, that one is actually on my white board of doom!  I’m being good and sticking to it!  ….somehow.  😛



Little wonky

I’ve had a bit of an odd day in the craft room.

I melted color right off of some fabric.

I don’t even know how I managed it since it’s supposedly cotton that I had prewashed (which I don’t normally do, but did this time since it was bright red).

This is the side of my ironing board after I hit the sticky iron with some Iron Off to get the gunk off.


Yuck!  Time to give the cover a good washing too.  =/

Ironing now out of the question, I decided it was time to make a needle minder.  I scored a covered button kit for a quarter at a discount store a few weeks back for this purpose and just haven’t had time with everything else.

…I’ll never get into the covered-button business.

Simply snap the back in place?  My foot!

I ended up having to use a wooden spool and a hammer to bash the thing in there.  If I hadn’t removed the shank to glue in a magnet, I would have destroyed the button.  I swear I’m not normally this inept.

…but the button was made, albeit wonky and well hammered.  Now I just need a big enough magnet; the only neodymium ones I have are about 1/4″ and I’d like something much larger.


I did at least do one thing right, I finished putting the green sashing and border on the gnome quilt.  It calls for second round of border but I’m not quite sure I want to add one or what color to do if I did.


Any thoughts or suggestions?

(ignore the lopsided gnome on the bottom, middle…I’m going to try fixing him if there’s enough play in the seams…if not, he stays wonky)

Old people <3

I picked up my new glasses at the optometrist yesterday – SO much better having my vision balanced again!  I didn’t feel drunky-pants for the first time in ages!

Then I had an appointment with my neuro-ophthalmologist and he tested my vision out at 20/15 again!  YAY!  I only have to see him every 6 months now to track the drusen and my visual field.  The drusen are still there, though tiny, so he had a hard time finding them again…but they’re there.  He downgraded me to pseudopapilledema and said I shouldn’t really have anything much to worry about.  After last year’s scare and the worry that there was a 33% chance of permanent vision loss, I’m a happy camper! 🙂

…he also said my new migraine meds are referred to as “dope-a-max”.  I think I’m a prime example of why. 😛

I also had a good laugh yesterday in regards to our water bill and the community we live.

My husband and I live in a very unique little development.  It was founded in the late 1940s by a group of scientists (me!  I went to school for biology, lots of good that’s done me) and engineers (L!  He’s an EE!) during a big boom in the city; they wanted their own private little community and they almost all designed their own houses, so it’s different and still very community oriented.  It’s more of a little unheard of subdivision with a pond (ice skating in winter!) and tennis court…and 85 homes hidden away in a ring of 200 acres of woodlands (with something like 6 miles of maintained trails for walking or cross-country skiing in winter) and conservation dedicated fields; we even have our own bird counts and fun things like that!  We’re less than 2 miles from one of three malls here and less than 5 minutes from downtown but whenever we have contractors that have lived and worked here for decades, they always seem surprised it exists.

We’re Narnia.  I’m sticking to that.

So the water bill.  The whole community exists on a shared well instead of using city water.  It works for us because it’s really great water and way cheaper to split the cost of testing, maintaining the pumps and storage tanks than actually paying for the nasty stuff the city uses.   We pay our bill once a year and it’s usually due at the end of March.  We’ve had issues with our mail carrier and hadn’t received our bill yet, so L called the sweet lady that had been the treasurer of the water company to check how much it was this year…just to be sure.

At this point, I just want to say I love old people.  Adore them. They’re a wealth of knowledge, experience, and just all around fun.  L and I were lucky enough to move in when we did — we got to know a good number of the original owners.  Some of them are still around, some have passed.  We’re good friends with a few and visit or speak with them whenever we can.  Who wouldn’t love having neighbors that retired the year they were born?!  😀

The treasurer had resigned this year but she said she’d call the new one and get right back to him.  In about five minutes she did just that.

…and after all of the grief I’ve had from certain people about my “not doing anything” and all of the self-doubt I’ve had afterwards, because even though I know better it always sends me on that downward spiral…

“Oh, I’m so sorry Logan.  I had trouble placing you when you first called.  You’re the one that lives with Amber!”


In cats, I trust.


Cats know when people suck and stick to their guns.  Dogs can be won over with treats and ear rubs…the poor, naive, little things.  Cats are smarter and better judges of character, at least in my opinion.

…or maybe I’ve just always been a cat person and that colors my views.

When we have guests, the cats are usually timid around them.  Eventually, Sagan (white-ish) will befriend almost anybody.  Tesla (black) is medicated so is also pretty friendly after the noise dies down.  Joule (calico) is very cat-like and doesn’t trust anything new.

If Sagan comes to hang out with you or noses around you while you’re asleep, you’re a trustworthy person – one of our friends famously thought he was a pillow once and slept with him between his knees…  If Tesla lets you pet her, you’re probably a good person.  If Joule so much as lets you see her, chances are you probably won’t kill us in our sleep.


I did finish the wallet I had been working on!  My migraine med brain forced me to work slow on it and I had to redo a few parts of it because I sewed it backwards or inside out (seriously, who puts a zipper on inside out?!) but  I like the way all the modifications turned out and I hope the person I made it for likes it as well! 🙂

L’s family all came up for a weekend at Okemo in Vermont.  It was surprisingly fun.

Fun for me because everybody else went skiing while I got to wallow in a jacuzzi tub and knit in front of a fire place in some blissful silence.  Thank you, bum knee…for once, I’m not mad at you.  We seriously need to get our fireplace inserts sooner than later, I forgot how peaceful fires can be.

L looked kind of awesome in all of his ski gear after 10 years, though…even if he did forget everything and “pizza-ed” down an 8-mile trail (which he also fell off).
After coming back for lunch, he decided he should stick to the bunny slopes with the toddlers who were zipping past him.  Those little gals in pink had no fear — the fear was saved for the poor guy desperately chasing after them while screaming “PIZZA, NOT FRENCH FRIES!”.  Skiing was way more entertaining to watch than I ever imagined.



Dog update

The little one ended up getting sicker before she got better.

As a matter of fact, if you’re squeamish, I’d run for the hills right now and skip the next row of text.

The poor little thing ended up spewing a hot stream of blood, pure red blood, the next time she wanted to go outside.  NO idea where it came from.

Welcome back, squeamish stomachs!

Needless to say, she was taken to her backup vet.  He doesn’t have the best bedside manner and usually makes me feel like the shittiest pet owner ever, like I did something to make her fall ill, so we don’t go there unless we absolutely have to.  He was very true to form this visit.

She had a slight temperature, her white count was slightly off, her back was a little sore causing her to be a little limp…and that was absolutely the only problems he could find wrong with her besides the issue that we brought her in for.

He thought it was lyme like I did and gave me a big old lecture on ticks even though I keep her on medicine for tick prevention.  He even ran a lyme panel; it came back that she had antibodies for it, which would make sense since she has had it, but they barely registered and didn’t get even near the color of the control so she wasn’t fighting an active infection.

Then the vet started being nice.  He ran a whole bunch of additional tests and blood work and couldn’t find anything obviously wrong with her, even though she was visibly ill.  Our appointment was over an hour before closing and he was still checking her out well after the hospital had closed.

He ended up giving her some medication to treat the symptoms that we brought her there over and put her on an antibiotic and a bland diet (trust me, she’s LOVING this — chicken and rice for life in her mind!) until she’s off the medicine.

He even called first thing the next morning to check on her because he was so confounded over not being able to figure out her out.  He had her full blood work results back and nothing on it explained why she was sick either.  She does have low thyroid so is now on medicine for that as well.

The good news is that she’s feeling pretty much back to normal now.  The bad news is I don’t think I’ll ever be able to convince her that treat-covered medicine twice a day followed by “bland diet” meals aren’t going to be a forever thing.  She’s already taken to licking an empty bowl pathetically when she’s hungry instead of eating out of the other dog’s bowl (he’s still getting the same food she normally eats).



Dog fevers and Dinosaurs

My puppers is sick…and by puppers I mean little dog who is actually almost 6 years old but will always be a puppy to me.

She has chronic lyme disease and it breaks my heart.  She caught it before she was old enough to be vaccinated so has had a long run of it.  A few times a year she gets sick with it again and runs a mild fever, gets lethargic, and starts limping around.

We’ve tried treatments with her in the past but the vet said they’re harder on her than actually going through the 3 to 4 day flares, so I just have to suffer through it with her. 😦

She still wants to go outside and will still drink if you bring her water but otherwise just wants to stay snuggled up in bed.  L is bringing home some more of her favorite canned dog food tonight — she’ll still eat her treats (she never, ever refuses a treat) but isn’t interested in dry dog food right now.  She usually doesn’t say no to the extra-stinky wet food (her stained beard is proof of that).

Yesterday she did follow me outside and wanted to run around a bit…then promptly came inside, felt macho and tried going back upstairs to the bedroom before her back legs gave out on her and then she fell down alllll the steps to the bottom.  I’m sure she’s extra special sore today from that tumble.

Our vet is currently out for a hip-replacement or I’d take her in this time to make sure it’s not worse than normal and that she didn’t hurt anything with her acrobatics.  L says I worry too much.  I probably do.  She doesn’t whine or favor any spots more than normal though and no swelling.  Thank goodness for her low center of gravity.

No matter how poorly she feels, she can’t resist sneaking in a few licks when a hand approaches.  🙂  (The licks say her temperature has gone down since yesterday, so yay!)


In happier news, I received shipping notifications today!

Yes there is a “s” on that.  Yes, that left me totally confused.

I ordered a frame for some cross-stitch I’m finally going to start.  It’s going to take me a decade at least.  I’m going to have a nice frame while I suffer through it.  I love cross-stitch.  I love this pattern.  I’m realistic when I say I’ll probably never, ever finish it.  My mom bought it for me and I’m pretty sure she did it to torture me.  I bought the aida cloth and at 22 count, I still needed a 30×36 piece.  I also had to buy like 50 bucks worth of floss in 90 colors.  It’s going to take foreverrr.

The frame is expected to be here Wednesday.  I’ll believe that when I see it.

The other package, well, I didn’t order it.

I do get notifications when any delivery service is dropping something off at my house.  All of the banking is also associated with my email, so I got that email today too.

L ordered something.

I’ve laughed for hours.

He doesn’t generally shop and there’s a reason why.

This.  This is what is being delivered to my house soon:


I’m not exactly sure where we’re going to hang a T-Rex trophy head or why…but I guess we’ll find a place.  He’s volunteered the hallway beside of my bathroom — I’m tentatively okay with that, so long as it fits and the teeth don’t snag my hair when I’m making a mad dash for the toilet.  It would be beside of his Hawaii poster and I think that’s where Jurassic Park was filmed?

The in-laws are due to arrive in three or four days.  There is not enough time to prepare.  Halp.

March? Already?!

I can’t believe it’s March already!

I feel like I’m slooowly clawing along with this scarf instead of actually making progress with it like I should.   I just finished Chapter 2 last night:


I really am enjoying it though.  I think the real issue is crochet has spoiled me and double knit will always be slow no matter what I do just because of all the fiddling with the yarn.  I love the result, so all that fiddling is worth it!

I think with the next double knit project I’ll play more with the ends and get a cleaner finish.  For this one I’m just knitting the two together so they’re not flapping in the wind; it works with the zany nature of this scarf so I’m fine with it.

Today being the first day of March, it’s time for the next BOM I did for my friend’s challenge!  Again, the pattern was a FatCat one I collected last year when she was releasing it for free.  I’m so bad about collecting these things then making them the next year after I make sure I have the whole set.  Nothing is more frustrating than missing a block!   …or being stingy and having to pay for it when you know you could have had it for free!


I also released my next Skill Builder block.  It’s a Log Cabin this month.  Hopefully the write up made sense; I was going through migraine blackouts when I wrote it and my proof-reader flaked a bit on me this time.  Oh well, such is life. 🙂